I had faith and strong belief in the manipulation of falsehoods and found it cheap, simple and recommendable, though only in winning girls’ love. I was a stunt professional of the deceit, but I didn’t realize the repercussion of this misdemeanour since I had used it successfully to achieve my desires until I found myself in my present pitiable predicament. I justified my inherent wish, knowing fully well that ladies, especially the acada type, had the extreme desire of accumulating material wealth and prestige through whatever means. They regard material acquisition and association with the big shots in the society, as the main thing than preserving their dignity, virtue and chastity.
I always preserved catchy smiles that could not be easily ignored whenever I intended to woo and entrap them into my lust net. Sometimes, I create well-phrased endearment that could liquidate hardened lasses’ hearts and even concocted on-the-spot convincing lies for quick acceptance.
I found it easy on several occasions to exaggerate my background, making out that I came from a prominent and opulent family in the country or portray myself as a son of a powerful politician. On other occasions, I might present myself as a son of a popular pastor or Imam, once I recognised my to-be-victim was the religious type whereas my poor parents had died many years previously in the village. Thanks to the Torrey ( abandoned children) home where I was brought up and nurtured to the university level. Without these forms of lies, a person might remain deprived of those affections which mostly male students craved for as belonging to the exclusive Casanova class. In my notorious escapades, my habitual lying betrayed me only twice. I was yet to recover from the second embarrassing incident.
I could vividly recollect the first incident while I was hungrily wolfing down gari with kuli-kuli, a cheap local staple in the university. I added nothing – not even a drop of water, to the gari, when suddenly I had a terrible stomachache, almost dragging me to a state of coma. I was quickly rushed to the campus clinic, where, like a pregnant woman, I held tightly to my belly as I was taken to meet the doctor.
In the face of the agony, I could perceive the presence of a “bird” in the doctor’s consulting room. I managed to open my eyes widely. Behold, there was an elegant champagne finger tip of the lady-visitor. My stomachache almost disappeared on the sight of the young lady, probably a new student, I assumed. There was this urge to further catch a good glimpse of the lady, but I neutralized that. Afterall, there would be enough time after the treatment to talk to her, I mused to myself. I had, before the doctor attended to me, tailored a sagacious expression of my affection to her.
“What did you eat, young man?” the doctor asked, interjecting into my thought.
” I ate rice with plantain, chicken, egg, graced with salad cream and washed down with lemon and apple juice after taking my usual Lucozade appetizer, ” I bubbled out the word in such a way that I might win sympathy from the young lady.
The doctor, on the spot, gave me two capsules to swallow which I did while still examining my body temperature. In few seconds, I started feeling very uneasy from my stomach to the throat and up to my mouth. My saliva gave me a melting sensation.
“Don’t worry. The food you ate might be too much or contaminated, hence the stomachache,” the doctor continued. ” You are going to vomit the food.”
I vomited the disgusting chewed kuli-kuli and gari, in the presence of all. What a shameful reaction of the drug, a pitiable situation excited by guilt. Not only my friends and doctors, but the lady also joined in the laughter. The expression from her face was that of disgust and hatred towards me.
The second palaver started a month ago, when I approached and talked to a damsel, a fresh student in our school. Many things were unique about her, sexy eyeballs, well-constructed visage, pointed nose and an inviting smile. She was in a different class from the other girls I had come in contact with. Her immaculate attire made her elegant. I quickly told my feeling and insisted on taking her to the neighborhood for relaxation in my father`s Mercedez V Boot car, the talk-of the-town brand of car which I had lied that the driver had gone to fuel. She agreed to the relationship but not to go out, especially as we had just begun the relationship.
Poverty pushed me to the wall like a cornered rat on the campus the following weekend as I ran out of money and food while all my roommates, who could have assisted me, had guardians off campus and had gone for the normal weekend break. I found it extremely necessary to, as usual, go to town to solicit for assistance from one of my friends.
I walked into a class mate in the city to lend me five Naira with the assurance that it would be refunded once I received my scholarship. Waiting for him beside a parked sports car, I saw this particular girl, my new catch, with her sister, coming out of the most sophisticated house in the area. Was she dwelling in this area? I waited not for an answer as I quickly sat on the bonnet of the car.
A thought then came to my mind. I crossed my leg and removed my room keys and jangled them while whistling a tuneless song.
“What are you doing here?” she asked with her finely molded lips. Though the question sent shivers into my nerves and bones, I was ready for it. ” I came with my mother who came to visit a relation” pointing at one of the intimidating buildings.
She gazed at her sister in utter disbelief and turned her back to me “You mean this car is yours?” her face changed like that of a chameleon.
“Yes, my father bought it some weeks ago from Japan.”
A man whom I later learnt to be their driver interrupted me as he opened the back door and nodded at them obediently. Alarm bells started ringing in my brains. They hardly got into the car when he told me to get off the bonnet. I loved my honour and reputation. Knowing my messy situation, I protested to the driver, claiming that the car belonged to my father. We shouted at each other. I made several attempts to wink at the driver to understand my situation. Instead, the driver ignored me, shouting “thief, thief . . . thief.” I also shouted back.
A crowd had now formed a ring around us. I heard some people saying the car belonged to the father of my girlfriend who owned the sophisticated mansion. Some people even called me an armed robber. I was seriously beaten. I wanted to tell them the truth but my mouth had been battered like that of Jerry Okorodudu after his fight with Joe Lasisi. My eyes could not see clearly as a result of the thorough blows I received. My girlfriend didn’t sympathize with me as she also thought that I was truly an armed robber. Feeling of worthlessness, guilt and shame became part of me. I am now in the police cell, very remorseful, trying to convince them that I am not an armed robber but a liar, for the sake of love.
This literary fiction by Yushau A. Shuaib was originally published in Sunday Triumph August 6, 1989